ANGUS Robertson has announced that eight communities across Scotland are set to benefit from £863,050 funding.

Speaking in Govan on Wednesday, the Culture Secretary said it will "deliver positive and lasting change to Scotland’s places" and raise awareness of the importance of sustainability. 

Awarded by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this is the first time that both organisations have jointly encouraged projects which aim to support and create better places to live, work and visit.

The funding will drive regeneration plans in communities including Govan, where Glasgow City Council plan to regenerate significant aspects of the local conservation area, and Buckhaven, where Fife Council plan to restore the remaining built heritage in the area.

READ MORE: Edinburgh: Council 'in dispute' with tram contractors over new line

Aberdeen City Council is also looking at ways to breathe new life into the east end of Union Street as well as increasing traditional skills training and providing community engagement opportunities.

Meanwhile, South Ayrshire Council plans to protect and repair the historic fabric of the townscape of Girvan and stimulate economic regeneration.

This first phase of funding will support the development of high-quality sustainable development plans for the eight areas over the next 12 months, with the potential that HES and Heritage Fund will then award up to £19.8 million jointly to deliver the projects in the coming years.

“Scotland is internationally renowned for the quality and diversity of its historic environment which plays an important role in shaping all of our lives," Robertson said. 

“This joint community-focused funding initiative will deliver positive and lasting change to Scotland’s places as well as raise awareness around the importance of sustainability.

“If we are to be successful in our transition to net-zero we must encourage more restoring and repurposing of heritage assets to ensure our historic environment is protected for the benefit of future generations.”

Susan O’Connor, head of grants at HES, said: “We are delighted to announce £863,050 to support the regeneration of eight heritage areas in Scotland.

“This is the first time that HES and the Heritage Fund have coordinated our funding in this way, and by working together, we are able to create an even bigger impact for communities across the country.

“Heritage-led regeneration and the reuse of historic buildings is an important catalyst for generating long-term social and economic benefits, and I'm incredibly excited to see the plans develop over the next 12 months to help contribute to a vibrant and sustainable future for each of these eight places.”

Caroline Clark, The National Lottery Heritage Fund director for Scotland, said: “Heritage sits at the heart of a place’s identity, adding depth, character and value. It helps connect people and communities to a place and boosts local economic prosperity.

“The funding we are announcing today, thanks to National Lottery players, will help revitalise eight communities across Scotland leading to potential investment of up to £19.8 million.

"Our aim is to help drive heritage and community-focused regeneration, helping local people to deliver long-term, sustainable improvements.”

“By working jointly with HES we have been able to double the support offered to these communities so that whether these initiatives are focusing on a small coastal town or a post-industrial city centre, each place can approach its regeneration with ambition, imagination, and heritage at its heart”.